Noisy Deadlines

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”– D. Adams
@Fedi

  1. After Atlas (Planetfall #2) by Emma Newman, 384p: I was blown away, this book is unputdownable! So good! It’s a sci-fi thriller with a murder investigation along with a mysterious cult, global politics, and the issue of the asymmetric power of big corporations. It was the first book I read from this author, and now I want to read all her books!

  2. Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle #1) by C.L. Polk, 318p: It starts with a murder mystery in this Second World War Britain setting. it has magic, people biking everywhere, queer romance, and the main character just wanting to help people and be independent.

  3. Babylon's Ashes (The Expanse #6) by James S.A. Corey, 538p: Not my favorite of the series. Each chapter is one-character POV, and I didn't enjoy that in this one we get way more POVs, other than the core main characters. I particularly didn't enjoy the chapters with Marco Inaros and his son. They are not on my list of likable characters (for obvious reasons if you know the series) and there were maybe too many of those chapters. Anyway, I want to continue reading the series, it seems the plot will continue in a different direction, and that's promising!

  4. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers, 152p: This book warmed my heart! Such a delightful, calm, compassionate read. Everybody is so nice in this world, I like that they say to each other: “no pressure, take your time, do what feels good, and I will help you”. I need more books like that! Can’t wait for the next in the series.

#readinglist #books #reading

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve noticed that almost every morning I wake up to my racing thoughts. My alarm has not gone off yet, but my mind can’t go back to sleep. For the most part they are illogical thoughts, anxieties, worries, in no coherent order. It feels like I’m half-dreaming. Sometimes I look at the time and it’s only half an hour before my usual alarm clock. Then my alarm goes off and these crazy thoughts stop after I get up.

I was thinking that the moment I realize those thoughts is the moment to actually wake up. Like if it was a natural waking up time for me. Like my brain is telling me: “ok, that’s enough for today, let’s get up!”. I’m not sure that’s the case, but I wonder if it makes sense. I’m so conditioned to getting up after my alarm clock! I don’t remember the last time I woke up on my own.

One thing I’ve been doing right before I close my eyes to sleep is: I mentally lay out my morning routine and tell myself how great it will feel. My morning routine is:

  • Get up, drink some water.
  • Go to the next room where I have my yoga mat.
  • Sit down and meditate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Do at least 15 minutes of yoga.
  • Do a final stretch and go take a shower.

I noticed that when I don’t take these steps, my day will not feel the same. I’m known to sleep in on the weekends and then I skip this whole routine, only to regret it later. So, I’m trying to keep the same morning routine even on weekends because I know it works for me.

Another thing I’ll try is: noticing when my brain is racing in the morning and actually getting out of bed (even before my alarm clock) and see what happens. Will I have the mental awareness to get myself up? Can I wake up “naturally”? I’ll see how this experiment goes...

#journal #noisymusings #sleep #thoughts

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I feel like I was in the middle of a storm for the last couple of months, and now I see clear skies and calmness. I spent 10 days in my home country, reconnected with my family, got stressed about Brazilian bureaucracy, had some fun, organized paperwork and got back to Canada, a place I recognize as home now. Fall is my favorite season, so I was back in time to see leaves falling, the orange hues of dusk and cool days.

I’m ready for winter. I’ve accomplished a lot this year already, so I just want to chill. I’ve had challenges and good stuff happening, and I’m grateful for all of them. After all, we are what we do every day. I can highlight a few things:

  • It was our first year as homeowners: the joys of shoveling snow from our driveway during winter and worrying about squirrels in the attic.
  • Enjoyed all the trails and bike paths around my neighborhood.
  • Me and my partner are Canadian Citizens now!
  • I completed an important step of a professional designation I’ve been working towards for the past 4 years.
  • My dad passed away and I now see that as a good life lesson in awareness of our mortality. It was tough in the beginning, but I used mindfulness to acknowledge it and accept it.
  • I visited my family in Brazil, and I feel that closed off nicely this year’s cycle of goals, challenges and joys.

So, for the rest of this year, I want to reconnect with my writing and hobbies, enjoy winter, and remember to practice “non-doing”. I read about this in the book “Wherever you go, there you are”. It has nothing to do with being lazy:

“Non-doing simply means letting things be and allowing them to unfold in their own way.” ― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

The author also mentions that any meditation practice is a form of “non-doing” in which we are able to step away from the busyness of our lives and to “contemplate, to make time for being, for purposefully not doing anything.”

I will choose only a couple projects I want to focus on this winter and put the rest away for the spring. I will focus on activities that are relaxing and help me wind down, such as: yoga, meditation, reading, long walks, calm mornings, journaling.

⛄ I wish all a cozy winter (for all you folks in northern hemisphere)! And a happy summer, if you are in the southern portion of the globe.

#journal #NoisyMusings

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

List:

  1. The Books of Magic by Scott Hampton, John Bolton, Charles Vess, Paul Johnson, Roger Zelazny, Neil Gaiman, 200p: It was okay as a graphic novel. It introduces the main character, Timothy Hunter, to the world of magic, but doesn’t go beyond that. I missed some more character focus and that probably happens in the next volumes.

  2. Seal of the Worm (Shadows of the Apt #10) by Adrian Tchaikovsky, 642p: This is the last book of the series, and it is impressive how the author manages to link everything together. The series has memorable characters, and I created a kind of emotional connection to them throughout the 10 books. It's epic, complex, and heavy on worldbuilding but also excellent in character-building. This was probably the longest fantasy series I finished reading, and I enjoyed that it is a unique world, getting away from the typical European-centric fantasy. A satisfying end for this series.

  3. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, 280p: It is always nice to read about mindfulness. This book can be read slowly, one chapter at a time because it's a collection of essays on mindfulness meditation and how it can be integrated into our daily lives, in our most mundane activities.

  4. Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger, 357p: This was fun and silly. There is a dirigible named the Spotted Custard that is painted to look like a black and red ladybug. There are people riding wolves. There are new supernatural beings introduced, other than werewolves and vampires. I liked the main group dynamic on board of the Spotted Custard (Rue, Quesnel, Prim and Percy). I'm not sure about the Indian cultural references, I'm afraid they were inaccurate and maybe even offensive to Indian natives. Overall fun, but not to be taken seriously.

  5. A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) by Becky Chambers, 147p: This novella felt like a warm embrace. It's cozy, cute, and light. A traveling tea monk exploring the world comes in contact with one of the few conscious robots left in their world. Robots were long forgotten by humanity, having fled to the wilderness to live their own lives. I loved the discussions about life’s purpose, animals, and consciousness. It made me want to continue reading the next one.

  6. BONUS: Replaceables – Short Story by Ithaka O., 19p: This short story was gifted to me by a fellow reader of this blog and I’m so grateful! A touching story about friendship, love, and death. About caring, about letting go, and also cherishing what is gone. It soothed me during a difficult time. The author’s page can be found here.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a Write.as account or email me


By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken, 478p: It was an interesting premise overall, with posthumanism discussions and creepy religions. Lots going on here: complex worldbuilding. creative and unusual hard sci-fi concepts and bioengineering of specialized human sub-species. There are different post-human beings that were heavily genetically modified, like Homo Quantus, who are able to make astounding leaps of intellectual analysis by stepping away from their individuality, Homo eridanus (The Mongrels): engineered people adapted to live on the deep-sea floor and the creepiest of all, Homo pupa (The Puppets): a type of slave species who were genetically modified to experience awe under pheromonal cues of their masters. I gotta say some of the quantum philosophical passages about faith, existence, and quantum calculations were boring to me. The part about Homo pupa and their blind worshipping was super disturbing, exploring the worst part of blind faith fanaticism.

  2. Midnight Riot (Rivers of London #1) by Ben Aaronovitch, 298p: Cool urban fantasy set up in London. It's got the Dresden Files vibe. It's full of British slang, which was not familiar to me. I'm not knowledgeable in London geography so I must have missed tons of references. It was still a nice read for me, but I guess I was discouraged to go on with the series because it seemed very niche and more interesting for people who know London culture.

  3. Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas, #2) by Ali Hazelwood, 127p: A quick and fun enemy to lovers trope, but with engineers!

  4. Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5) by Gail Carriger, 407p: This was probably my favorite book of the series, with a satisfactory ending. I love the writing style of these books, there is a lightness to it that makes me smile all the time. This one has dirigibles, a boat trip, balloon trips, a cute metanatural baby (Prudence), children traveling with their parents, Egypt ancient mysteries, and adorable supernatural beings. (vampires and werewolves). It's witty and sensible and classy. It was a true feel-good read. And I felt compelled to continue reading the next series (The Custard Protocol) that focuses on Prudence as a grown-up lady.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a Write.as account or email me


By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve been having moments of deep reflection in the past few weeks. Maybe even the past couple of months. I got an urge to reinforce the simplicity principles that have lead me to where I am right now.

I noticed at first that I wanted a simpler process to organize my thoughts, ideas and actions. I always write about the GTD method and how it’s been an excellent tool for me. The interesting thing about GTD is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you need. Right now I need simple. So I’ve been experimenting with MS To Do with the very basic GTD setup, just contexts lists, no linking to projects, and I noticed less effort from my part to keep the system current.

Then my dad passed away recently, and that was a traumatic experience. It was hard because I’m far away, and I’m in the middle of waiting for my new passport to be able to travel. That will happen in a couple of weeks, fingers crossed. I’ve been journaling privately a lot, trying to process the grief and working towards acceptance. Grieving can give us a whole new life perspective, on the things that really matter. And that all comes back to what I was talking in the beginning: simplicity. Enjoying the simple things in life, and also having a simple life, with less stress. I’ve been prioritizing meditation, yoga and walks with my partner. I’m taking care of my diet and my sleep. Those are fundamental things.

My reading taste has been changing as well. I’m in a phase where I want to read stories about people, but I still prefer fantasy or sci-fi settings. I’ve just finished the fifth book of the “Parasol Protectorate” series by Gail Carriger and it was such a delight! It’s steampunk, Victorian inspired, funny, witty and super relaxing for me. After finishing it I continued on to Gail Carriger’s other series “The Custard Protocol”, which is the same setting, with the daughter of the protagonist of the “Parasol Protectorate”. That’s what I need right now: something fun and smart, with not too many high stakes and some sensibility in it. I’ll probably be reading more romance-like books in the future. It’s one of those phases.

#journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve been through some hard times, my dad passed away last week and I'm dealing with grief the best I can. I find myself wanting to engage in contemplative activities, nothing noisy, nothing too intense. Long walks are great, I haven’t had the desire to go running yet.

I find that meditation and yoga help a lot. Reading also helps, but I can't seem to focus on a book for too long now. And I can’t seem to be able to read anything too intense, serious, or complex. For some days I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read. I’m gravitating towards feel-good romance books. So, I picked up a novella by a romance author I enjoy, because it was short and easy-going. I’m taking my time.

I felt I was also in need of some mindfulness inspiration. Something that encourages me to contemplate the present in a non-judgmental way. So, I remembered that I've had Jon Kabat-Zinn's work on my to-read plans for a while now. I picked up “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” and it’s been soothing.

#grief #journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall, 340p: I enjoyed this Sherlock Holmes fantasy twist. I loved when the narrator breaks the fourth wall to apologize and tries to conceal the offending language spoken by some characters. It's a crazy world, different dimensions exist, time travel is possible, there are transgender and pansexual characters, humor, and hints of Lovecraftian/Gothic/Vampire-ish atmospheres.

  2. War Master's Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky, 737p: This was a long book, I have to say the first half dragged a little. It's a plot-heavy book, with high stakes, several characters die because of the war. There were some powerful scenes related to war decisions that seemed uncomfortably to reality. I was more interested in what was going on in the forest with Che and Seda, the major mystery of this whole series. It ends in a cliffhanger to the last book of the series.

  3. Heartless by Gail Carriger, 400p: This series is so much fun, I'm glad I got back to it. Delightful language, lots of action and tea drinking, a giant mechanical octopus, zombie porcupines mixed with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and a mystery. Also, a pregnant protagonist is not really common in steampunk/paranormal novels. It's classy and fun! I will read the next one in the series.

  4. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman, 224p: Down-to-earth productivity discussion, made me think about my limited existence and ponder what's really essential in our lives. There's a lot about acceptance and being patient. The overall message is to take it slow and enjoy the ride. Good reflections.

  5. The Acid Watcher Diet by Jonathan E. Aviv, 293p: I liked the diet approach of this book. I've had acid reflux for years and have adopted lifestyle changes and tweaks to my diet to counteract it. It never worked 100%, and this book was eye-opening in terms of suggesting additional changes to my diet and eating habits that are truly beneficial. I'm still in the first 28-day healing phase (the most restrictive diet) and I'm seeing improvement in my symptoms. The book is very accessible, there are recipes, comprehensive meal plan suggestions, and lists of foods that are recommended so we can come up with our meal plan as well. The recipes are easy to follow and they matched my diet preferences. It has very good advice not only for acid reflux but for lifelong health.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a Write.as account or email me


By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve always had some dietary restrictions after I found out I was lactose intolerant years ago. It turned out I had acid reflux without even realizing it at the time. Some symptoms can be very similar to a cold (irritated throat, nose dripping, coughing), and after some exams I found out I had lactose intolerance, a hiatal hernia and acid reflux as a consequence.

That diagnosis made me change my diet and I started taking stomach medication: proton pump inhibitors (PPI). After a few years I got better and I tried to stop the medication on a daily basis, and only taking it if I knew I was having a meal that were outside my dietary restrictions. It worked for a while.

By that time I stopped consuming:

  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • All carbonated beverages

Then life happened, I’d start eating something that would trigger my symptoms again, and I was back and forth with prescribed medication, over the counter antacids and diet changes to feel better.

A couple of years ago I tried a restrictive diet called “Fast Tract Diet” which seemed to work well for the symptoms, but I had cravings and in the end the diet was not sustainable to me. It was very similar to a keto diet, but with even more restrictions about starchy foods and carbs.

Anyway, I slacked off recently. I thought I was doing okay, I started consuming more tea, I felt that my lactose intolerance was not that bad anymore so I added cream in every cup of tea I had. I was eating more chocolate and more processed meats (like ham and sausages).

So for a few months I felt symptoms coming back, specially my throat being sore, my nose dripping with no apparent reason and dry coughs EVERY DAY. And also, bloating and indigestion. That was a huge red flag that I should have noticed earlier but I thought it was seasonal pollen allergy or something.

My 28 day restriction phase

I’m starting a diet that focuses on replacing high-acid foods with low-acid foods and eliminating trigger foods (Reference: The Acid Watcher Diet by Jonathan Aviv, MD, FACS.)

It’s a less restrictive diet for me, because it allows fruits and nuts and even small portions of whole wheat bread.

I already don’t consume: alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, vinegar and soda. Those are already off limits for me for some time now. And I don’t miss them at all.

Now, for 28 days I WON’T consume any of the following:

  • Tea (I will allow some herbal teas only)
  • Tomato, tomato sauce
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple
  • Processed foods / processed meats
  • Milk (I will replace it with Almond milk)

And I will consume fruits and vegetables with pH higher than 5.

I will work on a complete meal plan for the next weeks and see how it goes.

After the 28 days phase I will evaluate my symptoms, check how I feel and I will slowly reintroduce some foods I one at a time and see if they are triggers. If they are, I know I have to continue avoiding them.

#journal #diet #health

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

It’s summer, so I focused on some light reads that were on my TBR pile. The Starlight's Shadow series was my favorite. I was a bit disappointed with “A Discovery of Witches” and “Architects of Memory”. And “Strange Love” was not exactly what I expected, but at least it had some originality.

  1. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) by Deborah Harkness, 579p: It started well, but then it seemed the story dragged on and on and on... I liked the yoga class with witches, vampires, and demons. There was a lot of world-building info dump that threw me off the plot. Some characters are vampires who lived for centuries, so there was too much background story delivered all at once. I can see it was well researched, mentioning old editions of Bibles, the works of Galileo, Isaac Newton and Darwin, for example. The writing just didn't flow well for me, I wasn't invested enough in the characters to want to follow them through the next two books.

  2. Architects of Memory (The Memory War #1) by Karen Osborne, 336p: It started okay but then some ideas felt underdeveloped and it was not clear how the alien technology worked and what was really going on with the characters' hallucinations. The writing style didn't attract me too much and I thought there was the overuse of metaphors to describe things. I was confused by some terms used to name objects, sometimes I found there was not enough context to understand what that object was. The ending was very abrupt and to be honest, I still quite didn't get it. I don't feel compelled to continue reading the next book.

  3. Hunt the Stars (Starlight's Shadow #1) by Jessie Mihalik, 419p: Romancy sci-fi (enemies to lovers trope) with nice world-building and engaging characters: a perfect summer read. Humans and Valoffs (old-time enemies) managing to work together in a spaceship, sharing meals, watching TV series, cooking, cleaning and trying to be nice to each other. Valoffs are human-like aliens with telepathy and telekinesis powers. Truly enjoyed the ride, and I jumped to the next book of the series right away.

  4. Eclipse the Moon (Starlight's Shadow #2) by Jessie Mihalik, 440p: The story continues with a different POV, focusing on the hacker Kee and the weapons specialist Varro, who is super powerful. They are on an espionage mission on a space station, so lots of hacking security cameras and stealth are happening. I had fun, another light summer read.

  5. Strange Love (Galactic Love #1) by Ann Aguirre, 306p: “Strange” is the best word to describe this book. It’s light in tone, there’s a talking dog, and the male character is gentle and kind with none of the possessive alpha male behavior common to the alien-in-search-of-a-mate romance trope. The plot revolves around this alien competition or contest (“The Hunger Games” style), in which people participate to win the right to mate in this alien world. A human female is accidentally “abducted” from Earth and ends up on a different planet where this contest is starting. Warning: sexy times were a lit bit cringy because the alien had totally different anatomy, so, yeah, very weird.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a Write.as account or email me


By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

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